Major Projects

Strategic Biodiversity Assessments for Melbourne Growth Areas

The Growth Areas Authority and Local Councils commissioned us to undertake detailed biodiversity assessments and vegetation mapping throughout Melbourne's Growth Areas.

Precinct Structure Plans

The Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA) is responsible for the preparation and coordination of Precinct Structure Plans (PSPs) in areas identified for Melbourne’s future urban development.  The areas were identified in A Plan for Melbourne’s Growth Areas 2005 and Developing Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Communities 2009.

The Urban Growth Zones (identified in red, in the map below) require the preparation of a PSP, which is approved by the Minister for Planning before any urban development can proceed.

All planning must be in accordance with Victorian Government policy for the protection of native vegetation as identified in Victoria’s Permitted clearing of native vegetation – Biodiversity assessment guidelines (the Guidelines).  


A Native Vegetation Precinct Plan (NVPP) described in Clause 52.16 of the Victorian Planning Provisions is required for precincts planned for urban development to identify remnant native vegetation patches and individual trees for retention, removal and offsetting. Planning for the precincts must comply with policy and legislation pertaining to native fauna, particularly threatened species such as Southern Brown Bandicoot, Growling Grass Frog and Golden Sun Moth. Other biodiversity values (eg. wetlands) that need to be retained or managed subject to detailed Conservation Management Plans are identified too.

Ecological Investigations

Detailed ecological investigations were completed across all of Melbourne's Growth Areas (ie. Melbourne's South-East, North, North-West and West Growth Areas) involving the:

  • Collection of data and information on biodiversity in areas identified for future urban development (important early input into the PSP process)
  • Preparation of Biodiversity Reports for each precinct to provide strategic context for biodiversity conservation in the preparation of the PSP

The biodiversity reports inform decisions about the preferred urban structure of new suburbs planned in the growth areas and in the PSP, and the decisions about retention, removal and offsetting of native vegetation to meet the prescriptive requirements of the Strategic Impact Assessment Report 2009 (in accordance with the EPBC Act).

Our team of botanists (accredited 'Vegetation Quality Assessors' by DELWP) and zoologists have completed detailed ecological investigations across 30 of the Precinct Structure Plans, totalling several thousand hectares to date. 


For further information or assistance and advice on your next project contact us on 9377 0100 or email

Relevant link:

Metropolitan Planning Authority - Delivering Melbourne's newest sustainable communities

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